I believe I will, I believe I will
February 18, 2007 11:45 AM   Subscribe

Waffle House Family and other classics are now available for listening in the comfort of your own home via online jukebox. No longer must you drive the darkness of the American Highway seeking that 24-hour beacon of yellow squares; no longer suck your sweet tea from the straw as you seek out original Waffle House tunes while waiting for your hash browns (scattered, smothered, and covered, of course) to arrive. Mary Welch Rogers, wife of House founder Joe Rogers, is one of several artists who recorded Waffle House-themed songs for the fast-food chain's jukeboxes. Most were penned by Buckner and Garcia of Pac Man Fever. While you're at it, visit the shrine, and enjoy David Wilcox's song about feel the peace that's cooked in grease.
posted by Miko (15 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I love Waffle House -- best part of moving to the south (ok, Maryland).
posted by Seth_Messinger at 12:11 PM on February 18, 2007

My favorite has always been "Special Lady [Working at the Waffle House]."
posted by lunalaguna at 12:48 PM on February 18, 2007

it's 3 am, and I'm rolling through Key Largo on my way to Key West (from PA). At that hour, in that condition, no man alive can resist the WH's attraction. So my companion and I go in, order some crap, and dig in. As I'm squashing a piece o' pecan waffle into the back of my fork, two sixteen-year-old kids put a quarter in the jukebox and choose some hideous pop-punk ditty. It's saccharine, shitty, and loud. The kids are on their way to sit back down when the line cook cum head waitress comes from behind the counter, reaches down to the outlet, and yanks the juke's plug from the wall. The speakers pop as they lose power and the kids exclaim, "Hey! we paid for that, you can't just turn it off." This line cook's maybe 65, and had probably been to Korea. Not replying directly to the kids, he says, "I don't get paid enough to listen to that shit," in a really angry, short-fused, observational kinda way.

The waffle house is the center of the universe at 3 am.
posted by kickback at 1:21 PM on February 18, 2007 [1 favorite]

Those poor employees. When I did the search to make sure this wasn't a double, all I found were a few comments about how much the Waffle House staff detests these songs.

I'm sympathetic. I'm sure working at the Waffle House is really drudgery at times. The bacon smell. The array of overnight customers (truckers, travellers, drunk/stoned college students, impecunious teenagers). The hard work on your feet. The songs must seem like a twist of the knife if you're already not enjoying working there.

But I love the Waffle House in an unreconstructed way, and the songs have a certain goofy charm to me. It's the sort of brand-identity strategy that gave us Burma-Shave and the like. I wish there more of this sort of quirkiness in American marketing.
posted by Miko at 1:31 PM on February 18, 2007

I used to be a third shift Waffle House waitress. And my husband used to manage one.

Actually, it's a very entertaining job. We have our regulars, drunks are always doing something worth laughing at, and there are no bosses breathing down your neck at that hour. And someone could definitely squeeze out a Great American Novel out of the Waffle House subculture.

But I can totally confirm the sheer and utter hatred we all had for those blasted Waffle House songs. Of course back in my day there weren't quite so many of them.

Oh, and never, never mess with a third shift Waffle House cook.
posted by konolia at 2:14 PM on February 18, 2007 [2 favorites]

And that David Wilcox song captures it perfectly...
posted by konolia at 2:19 PM on February 18, 2007

Brilliant, great, awesome post.

But it's scattered, covered, and diced, ok?
posted by beaucoupkevin at 5:21 PM on February 18, 2007

Once, in South Carolina, on a sweltering late August night, I played "Special Lady" on a Waffle House jukebox. We were in the middle of a heat wave. The air conditioner had conked out hourse before, so greasy condentation was pouring like rain down the insides of the windows. The waitress tried to ignore the song, but a skinny little bus guy with hair like Albert Einstein kept hopping after her going "Hey, that's you! You that special lady!"

I felt so guilty that I left her a ten dollar tip. I thought that would buy me forgiveness, but no. When she cashed me out, she was still looking at me like I'd bitten her baby.

I still feel kind of bad about it, actually.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:26 PM on February 18, 2007

Um, that's "hours," and "condensation." Oops.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 5:28 PM on February 18, 2007

But it's scattered, covered, and diced, ok?

As you like! This site provides a good list of all the possible hash borwn orders.
posted by Miko at 7:03 PM on February 18, 2007

I used to manage a Waffle House in college, and these song were played endlessly, most times just to piss us off. The thought of hearing one of these songs again makes me want to reach through the tubes and "smother" and "dice".

Curse you to the nth degree.
posted by dozo at 7:53 PM on February 18, 2007

Scattered, smothered, covered and CHUNKED.

(That's all we had when we were there.)

SCATTERED on the grill, SMOTHERED with onions, COVERED with cheese, and CHUNKED with ham.
posted by konolia at 6:09 AM on February 19, 2007

The theme songs are the only reason I go to Waffle House. I usually feed the jukebox two dollars (which buys like 10 or 12 songs) and pick only the WH theme songs. "Special Lady" is my fave, hands down. I also have a perverse fascination with the birthday song. Other faves include "They Have a Coke for Me" and "Grill Operator".
posted by zonkout at 6:57 AM on February 19, 2007

Waffle House also has its own salsa brand on the tables now: Casa de Waffle. If I had had a keyboard with me the first time I saw that I would have ruined it. As it was my waffle house buddy had to repeatedly whack me on the back to stop the hysteria.
posted by mygothlaundry at 10:55 AM on February 19, 2007

ahhh. I miss my Waffle houses but as far as I'm concerned a non-smoking Waffle House is a closed Waffle House.
posted by Megafly at 11:31 AM on February 19, 2007

« Older But wait for Lou...   |   "Would it be possible to translate Finnegan's Wake... Newer »

This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments